The inspiration for Reflections of Pied Piper came from verse ten of the poem by Robert Browning |
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
The Piper's face fell, and he cried
'No trifling! I can't wait, beside!
I've promised to visit by dinner time
Bagdat, and accept the prime
Of the Head Cooks's pottage, all he's rich in,
For having left, in the Caliph's kitchen,
Of a nest of scorpions no survivor:
Withe him I proved no bargain driver,
With you, don't think I'II bate a stiver!
And folks who put me in a passion
May find me pipe after another fashion.
ROBERT BROWNING 1812-1889
Born 7 May 1812, at Camberwell, London, his father encouraged young Browning to explore the family's library. Through reading, he discovered 8 wide range of interests including drama, history and scholarship. They were to reflect in his writing later. His mother, though born in Scotland 1812-1889 had German parents. Poetry became his profession and he was fortunate not to depend on the money he made by writing.
During the period 1832-1846 Browning wrote his early long poems, and most of his plays, while living with his parents at Camberwell and later, Hatcham, though he did visit Russia and Italy. Before he married, The Pied Piper of Hamelin appeared with others in a pamphlet, Dramatic Lyrics (1842).
In 1845 Browning met Elizabeth Barrett, an invalid, whose doctors ordered her to Italy for health reasons. They married secretly in September 1846 and left for Pisa. Later, they made their home in Florence and had a son, Robert. Browning loved Italy and wrote many of his best poems on Italian subjects, though during his marriage, writing was not prolific. In the summer of 1861 Elizabeth died and in the autumn Browning returned to England with his son to live, write and prepare his wife's, Last Poems, for publication.
With his sister, Sarianna, sharing his London house, after his father died in 1866, he published his greatest work in 1868, The Ring and the Book, based historically on a 1698 murder trial in Rome.
Browning received recognition for his work and died while staying in Venice. His burial was in Westminster Abbey.
British composer born in Wales 23 April 1937, though retaining a casual interest in composition and piano, he abandoned his early formal music training for commerce, family and travel. Eventually, the call of music was too strong and composing started prolifically in 1992. Through The Williams-Morgan Piano Competition, he combines introducing music with opportunity for talented pianists. He is dedicated to composing new set music for the Competition and will use Reflections of Pied. Initially, he plays and records all compositions, and later, enjoys hearing different interpretations of that music during the competitions.
INTRODUCTION and music information by Ralph Williams-Morgan
My introduction to Robert Browning and The Pied Piper of Hamelin was at school and the age of six years. No doubt that early experience, later influenced me to explore some of his other works and remember certain quotations from his writing. Here are a few examples to remind you of one or more:
1. A piano-forte is a fine resource
2. The C Major of life
3. True life is only love, love only bliss
4. Oh, to be in England - Now that April's there
More recently, my interest in Robert Browning awoke through buying a book of poems, while on a visit to Panama in January 1995. Strangely, when I opened the book to explore the content, the poem I saw first, was The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Instantly, I recalled my early memories of that poem. Instinctively I thought of the language of poetry, linking with music, though it was not my first experience of that. While in the shop reading Pied Piper, I knew I was going to embark on a long musical journey. Reflections of Pied Piper, represents only part of that journey with Robert Browning as my companion.
Inspiration for the whole of Faces, develops from the first line in verse ten of The Pied Piper of Hamelin. The idea for the music, is the attempt at a musical impression of facial expression. In doing so, I would like those expressions, and the music, to suggest a range of feelngs. They could include, disappointment and aggression, followed by thinking, assertiveness, and later, the ability to influence, or take control of an issue. Ultimately, I know that only the music in some way, will, or will not, speak to you, so do not take what I say here too literally. These words merely paint a picture, to suggest how the music came into being.
The music starts, in a way to express disappointment. Quickly, it changes to a mixture of disappointment and aggression. Soon, that mood becomes reflective, but aggression is still there, though much less. The aggression reduces and disappointment returns. Soon, thoughts become more relaxed with only shades of aggression. What initially was confusing, now starts to be comprehensible. It suggests what should be done next as clear thinking takes over.
Now thoughts are flitting through the mind. Gradually, other and better constructed thoughts start to surface. This is the essential thinking time necessary, to work out what should be done, and how to do it. Later, there is another review. Eventually, a way forward and what to do next emerge. Yet while this goes on, there is the reminder that the feeling of disappointment and aggression is not far away.
This is where the way forward slowly becomes clear, as the mind checks out the processes necessary to regain the initiative. However, the experience of disappointment is always there as an undercurrent yet impatience also appears. About a third of the way through, absolute personal control returns. Assertive feelings arise, upon discovery of how to approach and deal with the problem. Through all this, there is still time for some more thinking before taking action. Two-thirds of the way through, the time has come to run all the plans through the mind again, and so set the course to follow. It is almost time to take the necessary action. Still, a little feeling of aggression returns, but disappears quickly. Now it is time to act.
Though there is a name change, the musical impression of facial expression, continues. This time, imagine those expressions that could relate to, dictating terms, taking action and being in control. They could represent confidence and assertiveness, even gentle persuasion. The music for No Trifling, grows from the words 'No trifling I can't wait,' line two, verse ten of The Pied Piper of Hamelin.
This part starts with an attempt musically, to represent the laying down of terms to others, which they must follow. In doing so, getting those terms over to others quickly, seems important. After, that will allow for later discussion to follow, which shall appear reasonable and maybe persuasive. That process continues, in a way of coaxing others to cooperate. Later in the music, there is a restatement of the position. Even a suggestion of aggression, as assertiveness and confidence builds, then surge, to enforce those initial terms set down.
Here, the feeling of being in control is strong, so gentle persuasion appears again. The confidence, though quietly expressed, has no bounds. There will be no compromise. The terms are clearly set for others to meet or else. The gentle attitude adopted is not unlike a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Now the reason for such confidence starts to flow. Behind it all is a threat. The idea for this music stems from the remaining words in verse ten of The Pied Piper of Hamelin, starting with 'besides' in the second line. The music attempts to impart that expression of confidence and assertiveness. It includes, recalling a story to create some substance to merit the threat that eventually follows. One can only imagine the facial expressions going on, leading to the announcement of the threat, introduced because of a broken promise.